Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is in Mayo today, Friday July 13 to attend a number of engagements in the county.
He first stop is the Project Ireland 2040 Rural Sectoral Forum in Westport this morning, before he visits Ireland West Airport where he will meet with the board of directors and after that he will meet with a delegation of stake holders including including Ballina Chamber of Commerce to discuss the N26.
Commenting on the visit Senator Michelle Mulherin said that: "The Taoiseach understands the need for investment in infrastructure in the West and is very supportive of this goal and these meetings are very welcome.
"I am pleased that the Taoiseach is in a position to take up these meeting requests. I will continue to keep Ireland West Airport Knock and the N26 front and fore on our infrastructure development agenda for Mayo.
"At this time I have already gotten movement on the N26. I met recently with Minister Josepha Madigan and her officials in relation to the massive hold up the environmental designation of the River Moy Valley as a Special Area of Conservation is causing for progress on the N26 such that to date we cannot get planning permission to proceed with the much needed road upgrade, in particular a new Cloongullane bridge as the first stage.
"She has agreed with her officials that they and National Parks and Wildlife Service will meet and sit down with Mayo County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to iron out environmental issues along the entire proposed new route and upgrade of the N26."
The Ballina based Senator who addressed Mayo County Council this week on the topic of special areas of conservation and special protection areas added that: "I am delighted that Mayo County Council has agreed to my request to set up a Working Group of all public body stakeholders involved in infrastructure development in Mayo including TII, the OPW, Irish Water and National Parks and Wildlife Service to examine how conservation objectives in SAC areas for habitats and species can be better balanced with socio-economic objectives of human beings in our county."